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Normandy Landings 70th Anniversary: Annual cruise from 2 - 9 June

  • 01 Jun 2014
  • Normandy

Summer Cruise 2014 incorporating NL70 -  2 to 9 June 2014


The Summer Cruise 2014 is combining with the 70th Anniversary events to commemorate the Normandy Landings in June 1944 henceforth termed NL70. The British commemorations are centred on Sword Beach and Ouistreham in particular whilst there are other events all along the landing beaches. The Ouistreham events have been planned in partnership with RNSA and therefore much of the booking process is different from our normal process and in addition there is a finite number of boats that can be accommodated in Ouistreham over the period 4th-8th June. First priority will be given to those boats that responded to the “expressions of interest” called for in October last year and additions can only be accepted if others drop out. In all there will be 77 RNVR/RNSA boats and upwards of 250 crew participating. There are no restrictions on boats at St Vaast or Dives and shore parties are welcome throughout although hotels in the area will be very busy. 

It is intended that most RNVRYC boats will initially make for Cherbourg over the week-end of 31st May/1st June to be in a good place to sail to St Vaast on Monday 2nd June. The gate open 1128-1639 FST. A pontoon party early that evening is the first event of the cruise and any RNSA boats in port will also be welcome. A four course dinner with aperitif and wine is planned the following evening at the Panoramique Restaurant overlooking St Vaast. 

An early start is required the next morning to lock-out for the 46nm passage to Ouistreham. 

Depending on weather and progress, it may be possible for a lunchtime stop at Port Winston behind the old caissons being careful not to pick up a Churchill tank with the anchor! Lock-in at Ouistreham is at 1730 to join the rest of the RNVRYC/RNSA flotilla some of whom will have approached from the east or made a direct passage. That evening there will be an informal “ice-breaker” party centred on the picnic area of the marina which will be a self-help event with boats providing their own drinks with Pimms being recommended. 

On Thursday 5th June access to the lock and marina will be restricted to service craft and Royal Yachts so all those boats sailing independently should plan to arrive on 4th June to be guaranteed access to the marina. Because of the high number of VIPs in the area, security of the approaches is restricted solely to those boats and crew members that have prior registration and the attached security form MUST be completed for each boat by skippers and returned with the booking form. A copy is to be retained on each boat and may be examined by security personnel. A club evening at the Ouistreham Yacht Club in the marina with a cash bar and nibbles is planned that evening.  Friday 6th June sees the main commemorative event in the afternoon at the War Memorial overlooking Sword Beach. This is a 2km walk from the marina and will be open to all although a limited number of seated places have been reserved for a small number of pre-advised RNVRYC/RNSA members courtesy of the Mayor. Access across the locks will be curtailed between 1300-1800 for security reasons. That evening there will be a French Theme cocktail party at the yacht club with finger buffet. 

On Saturday 7th June Battle Field Coach tours with guides have been specially arranged which will be a full days programme from 0830-1800 with the following itinerary :- 

0830 Depart Ouistreham. Pick up car park opposite locks. 

0900 Visit Juno Beach. 

1015 Mulberry Harbour and 360 Museum. 

1200 Arromanches lunch and optional museum visit. 

1345 Longues Battery-German coastal artillery. 

1500 Colleville  US War Cemetery. 

1615 Omaha Beach. 

1800 Return to Ouistreham. 

The Cruise Dinner that evening is at Domaine des Roches on the outskirts of the town at which our Commodore and Vice Admiral Simon Lister (Cdre RNSA tbc) and guests will be present. 

After the events of 5th-7th June, most boats will be leaving Ouistreham on Sunday 8th June some to their home ports and the majority of the RNSA boats to Honfleur. That week-end Honfleur will be extremely crowded as it is their annual Festival of the Sea when the fishing fleet is blessed and a French warship will be in port. It is proposed therefore that the RNVRYC boats make the 9nm passage to Dives- sur- Mer, a delightful historic town with a full service marina and plenty of space. No formal programme is planned in Dives but if there is sufficient demand, dinner at one of the many local restaurants will be arranged. 

From Dives, members will be free to follow their own programme at their leisure. 

 The Booking form for all events is attached and must be sent with cheques no later than 10th May to   Mike Morgan 99 The Meridians, Christchurch BH23 1RA.  


Detailed Programme 

Monday 2nd June 

Passage to St Vaast. Gate opens 1128-1639 FST.VHF Ch 9 

1830 Pontoon Party. Rig Casual/sailing 

Tuesday 3rd June 

1830 Taxi/coach to Panoramique Restaurant at La Pernelle overlooking St Vaast and Bay of Seine. 

2230 Taxi/coach back to marina. 

Wednesday 4th June 

0521 Gate closes. Suggest aim for departure nlt 0500. 46nmpassage to Ouistreham with possibility of lunch stop at Port Winston. 

1730 Lock opening at Ouistreham. VHF Ch 74 for lock and 09 for Marina. 

1930-2130 Early Bird icebreaker party in Marina picnic area. Rig Casual/sailing. Bring glasses and own drinks. Pimms recommended. 

Thursday 5th June 

Services Offshore Regatta arives from racing in Seine Bay. 

Prince of Wales visits Pegasus Museum. Parachute drop at Merville.. Historic MGB/MTBs proceed up canal to Pegasus Bridge. Times to be advised 

1600 Church Service at St Sampson’s for RNSA/RNVRYC. 

1930 Skippers briefing in . O/C Club evening at the Clubhouse. Wine and beer cash sales, some nibbles. Rig Casual. 

Friday 6th June 

0800-0830 Official Mass on Colville Beach. Attendance voluntary. 

Pegasus Bridge and Airborne Museum open. 7km round trip walk on path at rear of Marina. 

1300-1800 Lock Bridges closed. 

Pm Time to be advised. Official ceremonies at Sword Beach Memorial next to the Casino. 

1930 Skipper’s briefing in YC. O/C Evening cocktail reception with French Flavour. Wines, beer and minerals with Finger Buffet. A marquee will have been rigged at the YC and some official guests have been invited. Rig Planters ie smart casual. 

Saturday 7th June 

Am Services Offshore Regatta depart for UK. 

0830-1800 Coach trip to the Invasion Beaches. 

1930 Formal Dinner at Domaine des Roches. Transport provided. Rig Club Rig  

2330 Return transport. 

Sunday 8th June 

1100 RNSA boats depart for Honfleur or Home Ports. 

1630 RNVRYC boats depart for 9nm passage to Dives. HW Dives 1950 FST. Gate opens 1720-2240 FST. VHF Ch 9. 

Monday 9th June 

At Dives. If demand, dinner at local restaurant can be arranged. 

Tuesday 10th June 

RNVRYC boats disperse to follow own programmes. HW Dives 0907 FST. Gate opens 0635-1205 FST.

A number of attachments are included below:

Attachment 1 St Vaast and Ouistreham Dinner Menus.docx

NL70 RNVRYC Booking Form.docx

NL70 Security Form.docx

Mike Morgan is the RNVRYC coordinator and all queries should be directed to him. He can be contacted at

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